Overcoming 9 Months with {Hyperemesis Gravidarum}

I am strong because I survived nine months with Hyperemesis Gravidarum, which causes severe nausea, vomiting, and dehydration. I found out I was pregnant back in December of 2013. We were in the middle of moving into our new home, and I had the sudden urge to throw up my lunch. I brushed it off telling my husband it was just something I ate. A few days later, while unpacking, I had the horrid taste of bile creeping up my throat I immediately got sick. Later that night I made a trip to Wal-Mart for a pregnancy test.

I slipped off upstairs to take the test, as my husband and children were downstairs with Christmas movies blaring from the television. As the bright pink positive popped up, the clear sound of Jingle Bells from the television suddenly became muffled, my head began to spin.

Not that it was a terrible thing that I was pregnant, I was just in shock. I am 24, I have a three year old son and my daughter was just a few weeks shy of turning one. I’d recently taken on a new full time night shift secretary position in Labor and Delivery and was ready to go back to school to finish up my prerequisites. Our main focus was on our two children and accomplishing our goals before having more children.

I walked downstairs to tell my husband and suddenly the Christmas carols playing on the television seemed like a full fledged concert. I yelled over the music for my husband to come upstairs. Little did I know the months to follow would be life changing in so many ways.

A week later I became very sick, I couldn’t even get out of bed. My first doctor’s appointment was a blur I was excited to see my tiny baby pop up on the screen, but I felt so sick I just wanted to go home and sleep. They prescribed me nausea medicine which didn’t help. A week later we planned and celebrated my daughter’s first birthday. I was so nauseous and weak I went through her party like a zombie. Even in the pictures I looked terrible, everyone just kept telling me it would be okay and to rest. I felt so bad that I was that sick on her first birthday.

Over the next few months I lost 30 pounds, and my doctor had prescribed over five different medications for me, which still left me terribly nauseous and throwing up. I felt a gleam of hope when they said they were going to put me on a Zofran pump. However, that was shot down by my insurance and there was no way my husband and I could afford it. I was in and out of the emergency room dehydrated, and hooked up to IV fluids. Not to mention the last time I was in triage I had a horrendous allergic reaction to the Reglan that they gave me through my IV.

I became really hopeless and ready to scream at anyone who said, “Just eat crackers and drink Ginger ale.” I had to give up my full time job in labor and delivery due to the constant throwing up and dehydration. Before I left though I saw somethings that would later be very vital to my outlook on what I went through, but I’ll share that at the end.

My husband picked up a second job to handle all the bills. During the day my mother in law or mom would come help with the kids, because I was too sick. I’d hear them laughing and playing downstairs, they were so close yet I felt so far away. I cried constantly and I’d lay in bed for what seemed like hours. I’d stare at the ceiling in tears or at the sun shining through my window. I’d hear my son ask, “Where’s mommy?” It would break my heart.

In between the trips to the bathroom to throw up my body felt so worn and weak. I honestly wanted to give up on life. There were times I’d hope I wouldn’t wake up. I went through my son’s third birthday dragging and sick to my stomach. I did muster up some strength to go on a family trip to the aquarium the day before his party. I just wish that I was able to fully enjoy his big day, but just like my daughter’s party I was completely worn out and too sick. I felt so guilty.

I began wondering just how much a person could throw up in one day. Some days the nauseous feeling would be so overwhelming almost as if it were teasing me, I’d cry wishing I could just throw up already. I became so agitated even at my poor husband because I was so sick, and he was fine. I felt like no one understood what I was going through. Some people even felt like I was just complaining so the robotic words “I’m fine.” became my norm when people asked how I felt. I was convinced that no one wanted to hear how I truly felt.

We found out it was a girl through a surprise party, and luckily we still had everything from my daughter’s first year. I began to feel more human around 6 months. The nausea and vomiting  was still there but I had more energy to get up and do things. I was determined to enjoy the summer with my children and make up for time I felt like I lost over the winter and spring. Soon after I found out she was already positioned really low, which was causing pain on my nerves. It was painful to walk at times but I walked anyways I was just so grateful to be up and have energy.

I was due August 4th and most of July seemed to fly by, but towards the end of of that month time began to go really slow. At the end of July my doctor asked if I wanted to be induced that week I firmly said, “No!”  A lot of my friends that were due after me were already getting induced. Most said it was approved by their doctor, though there were no medical reason. They said they were miserable and just over being pregnant.

I had gestational diabetes but it was diet controlled, and there were no complications with my baby or me besides the Hyperemesis, so I felt there was no reason. In my head the thought of having her that week and ending the nausea and vomiting  did excite me, but I had made it this far through so much. I was determined to have her spontaneously. I had my son spontaneously and was induced with my daughter, which I said I’d never do again unless of course there was medical reasoning and the doctor felt I truly needed to be.

They told me if I went past 40 weeks that they would need to induce me and that I was 4cm dilated now. I remember walking and nesting like crazy that weekend in hopes that my appointment Monday August 4th would bring good news of being ready to deliver, since that of course was my due date. Monday came and I held back tears as I was told I hadn’t made any changes. The doctor told me that they could induce me that next day. I wearily asked if I could wait another week. He told me to come back Thursday to be checked, and if no progress they would need to schedule an induction.

I was so discouraged, but instead of doing more walking, I just curled up with my babies relaxed and watched television all day. Tuesday, I braved it out and took my two kids to Wal-Mart. As soon as we walked in I remember gripping the shopping cart as a sharp pain shot through my thighs and back. I shook it off as just a normal ache of a 40 week pregnant woman. The pain kept coming and going, so I hurried through shopping so we could get home.

By the time my husband came home from work the pain was getting stronger and stronger. Even though it was three years ago I remember that exact sharp pain shooting through my back with my son they called it back labor. When my husband came home from work I calmly told him we would be having a baby soon. He excitingly loaded the car with our hospital bag, and the kid’s bag for their stay at my moms.

When my contractions started to get closer together we headed to the hospital to be checked, which was around midnight. I was speechless when the nurse told me I was 4cm still. However, my contractions were coming five minutes apart! The nurse said they would monitor me for the next two hours and possibly send me home. In my heart I knew it was time. By the time two hours had passed, I was clenching the bed rail screaming in tears. My husband called the nurse in and sure enough I was now a six.

They wheeled me back to a delivery room and any trace of nausea I had left was replaced with intense contractions shooting through my back. I was filled with so much joy to finally be meeting my baby girl. After half a bag of IV fluids I received my epidural. They said the doctor wanted my water broken. I’ve never experienced my water breaking on its own so I was used to that. A few minutes later though before they came in to break it I felt a huge gush of water followed by trickles. The nurse checked me and in all its glory my water had broken on its own and I was now 8cm. The nurse said the words I waited so long to hear, “It’s almost time to deliver!”

When the doctor arrived and it was time to push it literally only took three pushes and she was out. She was my biggest baby yet, and since she came out so fast she had a little fluid in her lungs. She had to be on oxygen for a few hours, and also had a low blood sugar. After all she’d been through in just a few short hours of being born, she latched on and nursed like a champ. I had to have an episiotomy and later I felt all the pain and stitches, but what I didn’t feel is the nausea.

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Everything I endured for nine months became a faint memory the moment I laid eyes on her. I realized just how strong I really was when the doctor that saw me on my due date came in to check on me a day later. He immediately remembered me and smiled saying, “I see you went on your own!” As he walked out he turned back around and said,”Chart says she was eight pounds by the way, you did an excellent job!” Words cannot describe how that made me feel. I made it through all those months with Hyperemesis Gravidarum.

In the midst of being weak and weary, I am strong, because I stuck to what was placed in my heart to do and that was to have a spontaneous delivery regardless of how sick I felt. Lastly, while working in labor and delivery for just a few short months I saw so many things.

I admitted mothers to come in to have scheduled inductions to deliver still born babies, and the looks on their faces when I pressed the button to let them into the unit will forever haunt me. I admitted mothers that received countless treatments over and over to be able to have a baby. I admitted mothers who went through too many miscarriages to count, to lead to the newborn that I was typing up info on and printing up labels for. I honestly never realized just how much some mothers endure to have children. I felt so terrible for feeling how I felt over throwing up when some would give anything to go through that just as long as they could carry a healthy baby.

Everything happens for a reason and I think I was meant to work there for that amount of time to realize just that. I also realized that those months I felt guilty, like I lost out time with my two kids from being so sick, were not wasted moments at all. My children are completely over the moon for their baby sister and it melts my heart. So I remind myself that all those times I was unable to get up and play with them, meant their sweet sister was healthy and growing inside me.

Although I was weak and sick on their birthdays they will look back on pictures and see a strong mom, that would do anything for them just to see them smile regardless of how sick she felt. Those days I’d hear my son downstairs asking where I was meant that right in the middle of him playing or watching a movie with my mother or mother in law he stopped to think of me. Even though I slept so much I still had two children that would run into my room each morning anxious for me to wake up. Even though I was too sick most of the time to go out on a date with my husband he cherished cuddling with me on the couch and doing anything possible to at least make me feel half human.

I wish I could have realized all of this then and embraced my pregnancy more. I can honestly say, I would endure all of it again for her. My sweet Amara Grace has changed my life in so many ways, I can’t help but to sing Amazing Grace everyday now. So for anyone else that had or is going through a pregnancy with Hyperemesis Gravidarum, just know you are not alone. Also know that I understand you can’t just, “eat a small snack, suck on popsicles…” and all the other home remedies. I understand how you are over throwing up or being teased by constant nausea, that leaves you clinging to the toilet trying to throw up. Just understand that the pain now is only small and temporary compared to the big blessings coming.

My daughter is a huge blessing and I feel so much stronger. I know right now you don’t want to hear that others would love to be in your shoes, because I sure didn’t want to hear it, you just want relief from being so sick. If nothing else just know you are strong and you can do this, just as I did. I made it through a season in my life that I never thought I would, and there is complete beauty from it. There is hope and though it doesn’t seem like you can go another day just know you can. It will all be so worth it when you are in the delivery room giving birth. Then you’ll be able to share your story on how triumphant you were and that you overcame Hyperemesis Gravidarum. {by Jasmine Martin}

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Professional Photographs by Love Through A Lens Photography in Nashville Tennessee


  • OlgaFTM

    Thank you so much for this story. It gives me so much hope. I haven’t been diagnosed with HG, but vomiting every 30 minutes, exhausted, trying to keep food and even just sips of water that come up hours later (!), th is is what I’ve gone through for the last 6 weeks. I’m 12 weeks pg now, and I’ve been taking Zofran for 4 weeks. It helped a little at first, but that feeling you describe, where the nausea is so constant that you long to actually vomit, so that you might have some relief! That is something no one else seems to really understand. I am also so sick of hearing other people’s advice and home remidies. As if I haven’t wanted to try each one. At one point, I tried pretzels, but I was so dehydrated, I couldn’t even swallow them! I have hope that the nausea will diminish over time, especially as I pass this first trimester, but only time will tell.

    All of that being said, your story has given me a beautiful reminder of what it is all for! I am a first time mom, at the age of 35. After years of longing and trying, pregnancy has not turned out to be the beautiful, glorious experience that I thought and hoped it would be. Nonetheless, I am eager to meet this little baby that I have wanted for so long, and to experience motherhood. That’s a love that I know I’m ready for, no matter what the journey was to get to it!
    Thank you for sharing your great story! You are VERY strong indeed!

  • Fran Habils

    What a wonderful and inspiring story! Thank you so much for raising awareness about HG! If I understood correctly, your daughter was born on August 5, 2014. That is exactly a year after my HG-baby was born! Also a little girl! 🙂 I only had HG for the first 17 weeks of pregnancy though.

  • Vikki

    I couldn’t imagine how horrible HG it is. I’ve been blessed with extremely minor to no nausea and I’ve only ever thrown up once in my three pregnancies. It’s good to remember that women deal with things differently and that’s okay. I hear a lot about c-sections because I’ve had two but it’s nice to hear more about other things that may or may not happen in labour.

  • Erika

    Thank you so much for this story. I didn’t get diagnosed with HG, but I had nausea through the majority of the pregnancy and other complications. I felt like giving up too, but I would do it all over again. Mom’s Rock!

  • Lyn Robinson

    I suffered from hyperemises was ended up delivering an 8# baby 2 weeks early. I was blessed with a shorter delivery and a bigger baby who didn’t suffer from my condition. I wouldn’t wish it on anybody!

  • Awnmyown

    Thank you for this story. I’m at almost 19 weeks and still nauseous every day, even on meds (Zofran included). I’ve had people ask me why I’d take meds when they could be dangerous (my doctor says they’re fine) and why don’t I just have more ginger ale and salteens. I was so bad in the beginning that I threw up even water and was bleeding horribly from my esophagus. I wound up in the hospital at risk of being admitted full time. Thankfully the Zofran helped take the edge off, and while I still throw up daily, I’m getting through it. It helps knowing that other woman have done the same thing, and just kept pushing, just kept going. I’m terrified sometimes of having more kids because I’m sure I won’t “be a good mom” to them if the HG comes again. But your story reminds me that we’re a family, and we get through these things together and are stronger for it. Thank you.

  • Bizo

    Thanks for sharing your story. I am 12 weeks right now with HG and have so sad and low and your story has given me hope that I can do this. Thanks again

  • Mariangelmt

    Right now I’m 14 weeks.
    14 with HG and right now I’m (TMI) sitting hanging by the toilet until vomit comes again. Thank you for writing this. I cannot emphize how much this struggle is, but I have hopes that 26 weeks from now, everything is going to get better.

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